30 April 2013

MNM's Make: Which shape is the strongest?

I enjoy finding simple experiments to do with the boys that have a somewhat scientific basis and take no time at all to prepare for.

This weeks goal: find out which shape is the strongest 


Materials:
Three pieces of card or strong paper
Sellotape
Books

  1. Roll one piece of paper into a circle and attach with sellotape.
  2. Fold one piece of paper into a triangle (don't trim the excess just keep folding it the same shape - so that each piece of paper is equally strong) and then attach both ends with sellotape
  3. Fold one piece of paper into a square and do the same.
  4. Stand them all up on their ends and then gently begin placing books on them to see which shape can hold the most books.
In our experiment, the circle was the strongest. But I realised somewhat too late that I had folded the square a bit too big so it was weaker than the others from the start. 


Also the best books to use were reasonably small, square ones with not too much overhang. None of the shapes were as strong as I'd have liked so in the end we used the power of three by stacking the shapes one inside the other. By doing this, we got up to 14 books on our combined shapes before the card collapsed under the weight and they all tumbled off!




One unexpected event at the end of this little experiment happened as we went back in the lounge and Noah saw the sun being reflected into our lounge making an almost movie-like screen of the fence and trees outside on the wall.

We eventually realised that there was a building some kilometres away in the centre of the city whose glass was reflecting the late afternoon sun up into our lounge so we were able to use that as an opportunity to talk about the sun's rays and how light can be reflected in many different directions.


Loving having snippets of time to invest into the growth and learning of these two (crazies).


Joining in with Miriam and Becoming the Mama I Want to Be

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